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Student success proposals invited

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 05 - September 26, 1996

The Committee for Student Success is soliciting proposals for new pilot projects or expansions of ongoing projects. Approximately 10-15 projects, with project ceiling funding at $40,000, are expected to be funded. At present, funding is available for the 1996-97 fiscal year.

The scope of projects eligible may include direct support to students in their learning and motivation, and projects that expand the capacity of the faculty and staff to better serve student learning.

Proposals should include sections that address: goals of the proposed project, followed by an explanation of how the project will affect undergraduates' success in meeting the revised academic eligibility requirements; personnel needs relative to the goals and an explanation of the suitability of key personnel for work on the project; project description describing the activities to be undertaken; timeline for implementing the project; project evaluation-indicate how the accomplishments of the project will be evaluated; budget; and description of full implementation-describe what full implementation of the proposed pilot project might entail and what is expected to be its full impact on student retention. The proposal should be no longer than five pages, inclusive of the budget.

Reports which include evaluation as to the success of funded projects should be submitted as soon as is practical but in no case later than June 30, 1997.

Proposals will be accepted from individuals, departments, colleges, centers, or campus units involved with academic support. Each proposal must have the endorsement of the department or unit head and of the college dean, vice president, or vice provost, as appropriate. Cost-sharing is encouraged, whether as "hard dollars" or as "in-kind" commitments. It is the committee intention to choose from among the successful projects a few for full implementation. The committee intends that some of the funded projects should begin soon after award of funding. Submit proposals by close of business Tuesday, Oct. 15, to John Fulton, Chair, Committee for Student Success, 112 Burruss Hall (0132).

The Committee for Student Success was appointed by Provost Peggy Meszaros to recommend efforts that will enhance undergraduate-student success at Virginia Tech. The goal of the committee is to mold the culture of the university to focus on learning.

The committee seeks to advance Virginia Tech as a model land-grant learning community, focused on student success. A major change lies ahead. A new academic eligibility policy is scheduled to be implemented beginning with the entering class of 1997. Passage of this policy was contingent on assurances that enhanced support for students would be forthcoming. Plans have existed since last spring to invest funds in increased student-support systems to enhance student retention.

There is a need to have learning-focused support programs in place, on a trial basis at least, so that we can evaluate the success of various measures and work them into the fabric of the university, beginning with the 1997-98 academic year. While the new eligibility requirements will be incumbent upon freshmen beginning with the 1997-1998 academic year, there is need to improve student success at all undergraduate levels.